Hundreds of Air Force Academy cadets suspected of cheating during pandemic-induced online learning

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Hundreds of Air Force Academy cadets suspected of cheating during pandemic-induced online learning​

Jan 29, 2021

The Air Force Academy is reviewing its honor code in the wake of suspicion that hundreds of cadets cheated last spring after being sent home for online learning at the height of the pandemic.

Two of the nearly 250 cadets suspected are no longer at the academy. Most of the remainder have admitted to cheating and are on six months of probation and remediation, according to the service academy.

On Friday, it announced the review as well as the alleged infractions, which were discovered through faculty academic safeguards. Those infractions ranged from failing to properly cite sources and using unauthorized tutoring websites, to receiving solutions to exam questions in real time and completing final exams in small groups, according to an academy news release.

Per the honor code, cadets pledge to "not lie, steal, or cheat nor tolerate among us anyone who does.”

Air Force Academy: Honor codes does not mean what it means.

The academy believes probation and remediation will likely be enough for those cadets to learn their lesson.

https://gazette.com/news/hundreds-o...cle_89364f86-6257-11eb-b060-077efc9e82da.html
 

Army Al

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The motto in all the service academies is cooperate and graduate. They have taken it to a. totally different level obviously.

The real question is do we need service academies in the 21st Century? It's great in being paid to attend a free school but is it a good investment for the taxpayers or the military?

Academy grads and full college ROTC scholarship grads tend to leave the service much SOONER than other commissioning sources for decades. Their mindset is if we are the best, let's take my skill set to the market place.

Their favorite saying is 5 and dive for many of them. Five year commitment and then leaving. Not a great return on the investment for the military or for the taxpayer. Military pilot training commitment is at least 10-11 years.

The service academies are NOT the most elite universities. Many of their students wouldn't qualify for the ivy leagues.

The recent Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, a 4 star, is a Princeton graduate. Now that is a great return on investment for the military and the taxpayer.

But we will continue to say they are American's best and even the cadets don't believe that after a year or so as a student.

The military has to find a better way in producing and retaining quality officers.
 
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Supersix00

Strength, Honor & Data / DS C2025 Applicant
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The motto in all the service academies is cooperate and graduate. They have taken it to a different level obviously.

The real question is do we need service academies in the 21st Century? It's great in being paid to attend a free school but is it a good investment for the taxpayers or the military?

Academy grads and full college ROTC scholarship grads tend to leave the service much SOONER than other commissioning sources for decades. Their mindset is if we are the best, let's take my skills to the market place.

Their favorite saying is 5 and dive for many of them. Five year commitment and then leaving. Not a great return on the investment for the military or for the taxpayer. Military pilot training commitment is at least 10-11 years.

The service academies are NOT the most elite universities. Many of their students wouldn't qualify for the ivy leagues.

But we will continue to say they are American's best and even the cadets don't believe that after a year or so as a student.

The military has to find a better way in producing and retaining quality officers.
You haven’t met my son.
 

ThereseInDenver

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OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
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Academy grads and full college ROTC scholarship grads tend to leave the service much SOONER than other commissioning sources for decades. Their mindset is if we are the best, let's take my skills to the market place.
Citation please: You're saying that OCS officers stay longer than Service Academy and ROTC officers because other than a few specialized direct commissioning programs, the vast majority of commissions come from OCS, ROTC and Service Academy. Please show your sources. Also, understand that the Military Officer promotion system is based on a pyramid and there is a sharp drop off in number of bodies between O3 and O4. Officers who fail select for O4 generally HAVE to get out whether they want to or not. You may not like it but it is a fact.


The service academies are NOT the most elite universities. Many of their students wouldn't qualify for the ivy leagues.
Some would and some would not. A young person that I was mentoring last year (high school class of "20") did not get into USNA last cycle, partially due to a late medical waiver but she did not have an LOA either. She went to her safety school, Princeton .
I did approx 15 interviews for my MOC this year 13 of which were USNA/USMA/USAFA and all of them were extremely well qualified and about half already had acceptances to Ivies or Equiv (MIT/RPI/Duke) by mid-Nov

The military has to find a better way in producing and retaining quality officers.
Feel free to suggest them.


 

SF_DAD

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OldRetSWO - I think you gave him more of your time than his comments are worth. Most of us on the forum know spectacular officers from every Commissioning source. The bottom line is that the contract is for 5 years. There is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing a different path after the 5 years. Some of us spent our entire adult life in uniform. Shame on Army AI and the bitter comments.
 

Capt MJ

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Horrible that my first thought was, "glad that, now, none of the big three can lord it over the others that their SA didn't have a problem."
There is usually no lording or gloating when it comes to scandals like this, as they all have regular turns in the barrel. While an SA might breathe a sigh of relief it wasn’t their name in The NY Times/WaPost for drug dealing, cheating, sexual assault, hazing, racial incidents, murderous plebes (Google Diane Zamora and David Graham), fraternization, car theft ring, cheating, fired leadership, budget irregularities, staff/faculty scandals, investigations on pick-a-juicy-topic, they don’t rejoice to see a fellow SA’s name in bold print.
 

Army Al

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Wouldn't have a clue. One issue though, how does the military solve an Officer problem regarding two income families? Where the spouse can't easily relocate with the same if not more earning power. Don't even want to discuss PCSing to an installation where the children's education may suffer. Bright people tend to have options. And one of those options is leaving the service early in being a former cadet. The military is not in the business of producing former academy graduates (junior captains/Lts) for the market place.
 
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FlyFalcon

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Wouldn't have a clue. One issue though, how does the military solve an Officer problem regarding two income families? Where the spouse can't easily relocate with the same if not more earning power. Don't even want to discuss PCSing to an installation where the children's education may suffer. Bright people tend to have options. And one of those options is leaving the service early in being a former cadet. The military is not in the business of producing former academy graduates (junior captains) for the market place.
Look I'm a child of both a air force officer and a naval officer. I had my parents go on multiple deployments, moved 5 schools before 5th grade and had a single father who was a captain feeding two children. But you know what? The military took better care of us than civilian life. I've had multiple friends torn away because they're parents had to cross the sea and they were civilians. Military helped us move, the military keep us in one place long enough for my sister and I to graduate certain grades. Don't you dare try and make this only a military issue. Now a days both parents work and both parents may have to move. I also know that my father is retiring soon so I'm watching the job proccess happen real time. They're letting him use his vacation days and more to find an acquaint job. They're giving classes, books, and other resources to make sure he is taken care of. I'm a military brat who been through everything you just mentioned. And you know what? There's a reason military brats are dandelions, it's because we aren't beaten easily and that's because of how the military community was there for us and made us able to role with the punches.
 

Skipper07

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The service academies are NOT the most elite universities. Many of their students wouldn't qualify for the ivy leagues.

Most of you post I don’t care to, or don’t know enough to comment on. I’m probably going to catch some flak for this, but I tend to agree with the quoted section of your post.

I strongly believe that the academies have lost the academic vigor they were once known for.

Now, obviously, I didn’t attend USNA at any time before June 2019. But, the academics here aren’t what people like to make them out to be. Are they challenging? Sure, all college courses are challenging. Do I feel as though I’m getting a world class education that kicks my *** and makes me work like a dog to keep up? Nope.

I came to USNA direct out of high school. I’ve never taken a course at another college. However, I have quite a few friends go to top tier private and public universities. I’d say they’re as smart if not smarter than I am. Their academic experience seems to be much more rigorous than mine.

Is there pressure from higher for overall grades to be better than they once were? Has the core curriculum been dumbed down? Am I just smarter than everyone else here? I can’t answer any of those questions besides the last one, which is a resounding NO!

For reference, I’m a STEM major who chose to add a critical language minor.
 

VelveteenR

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Their favorite saying is 5 and dive for many of them. Five year commitment and then leaving. Not a great return on the investment for the military or for the taxpayer

The military has determined that five years (or whatever commitment is set for a given branch) is sufficient payback for the education received, and it RELIES on the five-year attrition model as the military cannot absorb all the officers it graduates into the upper ranks. If and where longer service is required (for example, Army Cyber was recently upped from five to six years), adjustments will be made but, once the required commitment has been met, the service is satisfied. There is no shame in leaving the military once the military is satisfied the debt has been paid. How you personally feel about this is irrelevant.

The service academies are NOT the most elite universities. Many of their students wouldn't qualify for the ivy leagues.

Again, a misunderstanding of the mission of the academies. I've posted elsewhere that the rubric used to determine academy appointments, by design, does not value academics the same way civilian colleges weight them. The SAs value a combination of brains, brawn, and leadership somewhat equally–as they must. Until he was fully into his major, our son was underwhelmed by the academics at West Point. The brain trust is there, but cadets sometimes have to seek it out. When he discussed this with his department head, the LTC explained to him that only about one third of any incoming class is selected for academic chops*; the other 2/3rds are chosen for other equally shiny traits. All are academically capable, all pass the academic bar, but only that third is what you might label “scholarly.” Our son learned to value those other critical equally shiny traits in his band of brothers very highly. The corps needs a balance of all of them in a way civilian colleges do not as their missions differ vastly. The Army puts it this way (as inscribed in stone at West Point):

The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. -Thucydides-

The service academies are looking to produce capable officers for each branch of our armed services. It takes a certain kind of kid to go this route, and those kids don’t always look like the applicants to the usual civilian suspects. If academics rather than service is the main concern of any applicant’s college evaluation, then the SAs probably aren’t for them, not because that applicant can’t be academically satisfied (s/he can) but because getting through a service academy and the years of service that follow takes a gut commitment to something else.

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*The 1/3 that is chosen for scholarship, though, is as rarefied a pool as you'll find anywhere. These are the kids who turned down Ivies and equivalents and who earn Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Fulbright and other scholarships at the same rate as those top-tier civilian universities. Because these students are mixed in with others whose talents are stronger on the other equally important legs of the military stool, the GPA and test statistics of the academies don't align well with those civilian universities--and aren't meant to.
 
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